It doesn’t sound like my sea. I don’t own this wave like I own a photograph of it. The photo I should be taking right now. Intruding on a moment that belongs to the world, but not to me. It’s not my sea.
A cliff side nook plays host to a pair of birds. Squabbling, a little, as they flee their precarious yet cosy little bedroom and head out to water. Ducking and diving with the confidence and grace of the waves. It’s their sea.
Fishing from rocks down below, as solitary and relentless as the waves. Who knows what the next cast will bring. Who knows how the next wave will froth and fall. Who knows?
Along the awkward rocky ground, a couple look at home, comfortable on the stony floor. I didn’t see them before. They must be native to this place. It’s theirs, too, isn’t it?
Yet the lychen on the cold rock beneath me is close. Some alive, some not, but all real and here and now. A familiar sight I’ve never considered before. I’ve been here before, but I’ve never seen it before.
Like the garden, the shore, the hills and the tracks. The places I’ve documented but never been. Never seen. Never felt.
Stillness of mind comes from movement around me. It never stops, and nothing stays the same. The cold breeze prickles my face, gently dancing on my cheeks. Peace comes from an inconsistent rhythm that never tires. A rhythm that lives far beyond me.
It’s not my sea, but I am part of this free-wheeling movie. This moment I can only truly capture if I don’t try to contain it forever. To lock it into a moment I wasn’t present for.
It’s now, or it’s never. That splash will never perfectly repeat it’s sound. That wave will never perfectly repeat its landing. The birds will be squabbling… about something else next time.
It’s not my sea but it’s always here for me. Even though I can’t always return the favour. As he is here for me. We are here right now, together. In serenity.
A beautiful and imperfect reality that’s happy and content. Far from a virtual world that can never recreate such beauty. Yet a world that yearns, relentlessly, for perfection.
Cullernose Point. I’m coming back.
Photo credit: iStock – daverhead